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Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Updates from Bombardier, EMD, Balfour Beatty Rail, Midland Manufacturing, L.B. Foster, ROBEL and Hatch Mott MacDonald


• Bombardier Transportation has obtained two contracts totaling $485 million to supply 46 dual-powered passenger locomotives for New Jersey Transit and Montreal's Agence Metropolitaine de Transport (AMT). NJ Transit's $262 million contract calls for 26 locomotives and options for an additional 63 units. AMT's $223 million contract includes 20 locomotives and options for 10 more. Deliveries of the dual-powered locomotives — which can be operated via diesel or alternating current electric power — will begin in 2011.

• The first Electro-Motive Diesel Inc. (EMD)-designed JT56ACe diesel-electric locomotive jointly manufactured by CNR Dalian Locomotive and Rolling Stock Co. (DLoco) and EMD rolled off the assembly line in July in Dalian, China. The 6,000-horsepower, environmentally friendly locomotive features dual isolated cabins, electronic fuel injection, AC traction and a microcomputer control system. The JT56ACe can reach speeds up to 74 mph. DLoco and EMD will produce 300 of the locomotives for China's Ministry of Railways.

• Railroad contractor and maintenance service provider Balfour Beatty Rail Inc. has named David Sprinkle — previously southeast sales manager for L.B. Foster Co. — director of business development; Mark Meyer — previously manager of railway equipment maintenance, repairs and operations for BNSF Railway Co. — equipment director; RT Swindall — previously director of service planning for Georgetown Rail Equipment Co. — director of ballast services; Steve Whitfield — previously a scheduler for the Greenbush Commuter Rail Line — planning and technical support manager; Dave Rollo — previously an area manager for Balfour Beatty Rail — track estimator; and Joe Hess — previously an operations manager for Balfour Beatty Rail — area manager to succeed Rollo. Balfour Beatty Rail also now offers Verse continuous-welded rail testing services; Lasersweep service to measure train clearances; ground-penetrating radar to check ballast depth and condition; and XiTRACK, a polymer ballast system designed to provide reinforcement and more stability.

• Midland Manufacturing has received AAR service-trial approval for an "enhanced fittings" package for chlorine service. The fittings package is part of the Next-Generation Railroad Tank Car project, a joint effort between the Dow Chemical Co., Union Tank Car Co., Union Pacific Railroad, Occidental Chemical, Bayer AG and Alltranstek in cooperation with the FRA, TSA and Transport Canada. The package is designed to lower the overall height of valves to reduce exposure during a rollover accident and relocate all primary seals level with or below the pressure plate surface. Midland has delivered 10 fittings packages. During the next month, 25 rail cars will be converted with the packages and begin a two-year AAR service trial.

• L.B. Foster Co. has marked one full year since the company last recorded a lost-time accident. During that time, workers logged more than 1.7 million man-hours. Since 2002, L.B. Foster's total recordable incidence rate has decreased 85 percent and days away from work/restricted duty or job transfer incidence rate has declined 87 percent. The company provides various rail products, including concrete ties, used and crane rail, insulated rail joints, lubrication systems, rapid-transit rail systems, fasteners, trackwork materials and track panels.

• ROBEL Bahnbaumaschinen GmbH is supplying 22 commissioned rail loaders to the Swiss Federal Railways (SBB). The last unit will be delivered next month. The order includes 20 two-wagon and two six-wagon rail loaders, with a total of 80 electrical and 24 mechanical cranes. SBB will use the equipment to load and transport rails and switch components.

• Engineering firm Hatch Mott MacDonald (HMM) has acquired Higgins Associates Civil & Traffic Engineers, which provides traffic demand forecasting, capacity and operational analyses, speed study surveys and other services. The acquisition will expand the services currently offered by HMM's transportation planning department.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 8/19/2008